Ash Wednesday (17 February) begins the season of Lent, the 40 days (excluding Sundays) that lead up to Easter. This first day of Lent and the following 6 weeks of the Lenten season are marked with a sombreness as Christians reflect on their mortality, their sinfulness, and the dying of self that comes with new life in Christ.
The name "Ash Wednesday" derives from the widespread practise of receiving a cross marked in ash on the forehead during a special service in church. Ashes are a biblical reminder of our mortality: "You are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:19). The spreading of ashes on foreheads is a visible reminder of this. The ashes also represent sorrow and repentance for sin.
This year we cannot join together physically on Ash Wednesday to be marked as a community seeking to follow Christ, but we are still that community and can still reflect on the pilgrimage we are called to.
These resources are suggestions of how you might mark Ash Wednesday at home.
There is a lot here because different people pray differently so there are ideas for you to choose from rather than do each one of them.